Those Who Have Gone Before

“Thirty-five is when you finally get your head
together and your body starts falling apart.”
– Caryn Leschen

“Thirty five is a very attractive age;
London society is full of women who have of their own
free choice remained thirty-five for years.”
– Oscar Wilde

“Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five. The reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of thirty-five.”
– Joel Hildebrand

Keep it coming, life.  I can’t wait for more.

Happy birthday to me.

Le Château de ma Mère

Notre classe lit le livre qui est l’histoire de ce film. Aux trois prèmieres minutes de cette scène, j’ai pleuré. Tous les hommes de la famille Pagnol sont très beaux, n’est-ce pas? La campagne et le voix du narrateur contribuent à la nostalgie puissante,  et c’est me fait penser à mon enfance. Je me demande où sont mes amis, et les ans passés me rendent me sentir vielle.

Quels bons souvenirs.

Despite Our Differences

You guys, I do really like the Indigo Girls.

I decided to switch it up a little and return to my go-tos. I don’t think my fundamental tastes in music won’t ever change. The Girls are pretty timeless to me, like Patty. I can find a song that fits every part of my life. Their discography serves as that trusty jukebox in an old diner.

Their stuff makes me feel so nostalgic, even though this album was produced only in 2006. Their lyrics resound with me right now, and they’ve been on repeat for the past couple of days.

“Fly Away”

Fly away little bird / Any place in this open mouthed world / Begs to be fed like a bed that beckons you, but you won’t rest / Everyone’s got a need to go /Most of us stick with our row to hoe / But not you, you’re the black crow /With a straight line, and no time / For the birds of prey who wreck your nest / Twice your size steal your best / They set you on this course of your collision

I am a stop along your way
I am the words you’ll never say
I crossed the great beyond of fear
I opened my eyes and saw us there, what a view
You went there too

Fly away little bird / Find the song in you that no one’s heard / Strenghthen your wings as you sing your solo flight / Through this short life / Everyone’s got a deep regret / We try to ground ourselves to forget / But your race to the end is neck and neck / You love them, you love them not / The birds of prey who wreck your nest / Twice your size steal your best / They set you on this course of your collision

I am a stop along your way
I am the words you’ll never say
I crossed the great beyond of fear
Opened my eyes and saw us there, what a view
And you went there too

But all along your chosen path are / Window panes and sheets of glass / That you won’t see / You fly too fast / One day it will be over / Fly away little bird / The saddest song I ever heard / Was the one I wrote you in my heart / That never made it to the world

“Last Tears”

These are the last tears I’m gonna cry for you
My cryin’s through, I’m moving on
I don’t regret and won’t forget A single thing that we went through
But these are the last tears I’m gonna cry for you
You take things so much easier than I do
And you could live your life without me if you had to
And you believe that in the end it all works out right
And I might if not for you
And if you ask one which one lives just alone for love
I do
There was a time when all signs pointed to the warm south
The planets all lined up and built a new house
And everything we talked about felt like a prophecy
And when you looked at me they all came true
And if you asked which one wants to go the distance
I do
I’m gonna rack my mind one last time until I cannot think
I’m gonna dip into your memory and take a good stiff drink
And when I’m drunk on the last drop of sadness about how we went wrong
I’m gonna play this song
Make some coffee black and strong
Give thanks for healing time
And finally make up my mind

Mammal Matters

What I’ll miss: Furry poofy chair

It came in a cube-shaped box, early 2004. I sheathed it with its furry coat, then I sat on it and kneaded the foam to a plumpy-round, sitworthy form. It has endured over five years of sitting, jumping, lying, napping, rabbit-resting, child-wrestling, cuddling, reading; what have you. Two to three adults have sat on it at the same time. Maybe four. Zillions of children. It more than filled the measure of its creation. Also, truth be known, I never washed it. It had collected a lot of dust and hair. It was crusty and matted in some places. Its time had come. I’d always called it “furry poofy chair,” others had also called it “gorilla.” My chest tightened a bit as I left it in the basement a couple days ago.

What I won’t miss:
Furry poofy chair’s tendency to collect all the dust and hair in the apartment. Also, every NYC apartment’s tendency to collect all the dust and hair in the city. If you live here, you totally know what I mean.

Nine. Eleven. Nine.

If it is
to sigh
and hold
the same time
I do.

I wasn’t there
eight years ago
but the air
is heavy
as families
read names
but the names
more lightly than
our mortal souls.

It was sunny,
clear, catastrophic
sudden, solemn
I choke back sobs
tears fall
and it feels
like rain.


In related news, Sarah Bunting is still trying to find her guardian angel from that day:
The original story on her blog
The radio spot on today’s The Takeaway

Without Facebook, I Wouldn’t Have As Many Chances to Embarrass Myself

Four feet, ten inches. I reached that height when I was about 12. Maybe 13. Then I stayed there. I knew I wasn’t going to be tall as an adult. My mom was short – 4’9″.

As a kid in elementary school, I always watched the kids playing basketball on my way home from school. It looked fun.

It was probably all the bouncing. Bouncing on the court. That’s called dribbling. Bouncing off the backboard. That’s called lucky. It looked like it took a fair amount of control. Even at that age I liked the idea of being in charge like that.

I tried out for the basketball team in 8th grade. I stayed after school for tryouts. Running the mile before drills. Layups, passing, calling plays. Sprints the length of the court.

Not too many other girls tried out, and it didn’t seem too far-fetched that I would make the team.

I made the team. They announced the names the next morning after a week of tryouts.

I didn’t have all that much skill. All the bouncing I watched when I was younger took much more control than I had. Still, I dribbled halfway decently and could weave around people just fine.

My height required me to be scrappy. I chased after the ball, even when we played man-on-man. I’d manage a steal sometimes.

My foul shot was pretty solid.

It was fun being on a sports team. I’d come home from practice and do my homework and practice the clarinet and then spend the rest of the time until I fell asleep going over plays and thinking of ways to improve.

I was in the best shape of my life then. That was the year I actually earned the Presidential physical fitness award. I didn’t even feel sore or fatigued after practice. 8th grade. 13 years old. Almost 20 years ago.

We won our first game that season. It was a nailbiter, and we were behind at halftime, and Coach Gilmore gave an amazing speech to us in the locker room.

I sat the bench this game. It was too close to let a first-year player go in. The other team stayed ahead for most of the second half, but we steadily caught up.

It got down to the wire, a one-point game, five seconds left. Our ball. Pass, dribble, pass, dribble. Drive to the basket. Shoot. Score. Buzzer. Pretty incredible. One of the coolest experiences of my life.

All-county auditions happened to be the same night as that first game. I tried calling my parents to let them know I’d be at the game instead of auditions.

They’d already taken off to the school holding the auditions, Orange Park Junior High. And I didn’t have a way to get over there from Wilkinson Junior High.

The game ended, and Dad walked into the gym looking pretty angry.

I was off the team. I had to quit.

My first and only school basketball game. Pretty awesome from the bench.

I left my uniform in the locker the next day. I told Coach Gilmore I couldn’t be on the team anymore. Then I had to explain to Mr. Coleman why I didn’t audition for All-County Band.

If I had to do it again, I’d make sure my parents knew I’d be at the game instead of auditions. Then maybe I would have gotten to play later in the season. Then 10-15 years later, I’d be the only 4’10” player in the world playing professional basketball.

The photos are from Tracy (Rood) Zang’s yearbook. She scanned them into facebook.

Who else would be holding the ball?
Who else would be holding the ball?
I look the same. I do not understand this.
I look the same. I do not understand this. I am boxing out no one here. BEAUTIFUL jump shot, though.